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1. (in medieval Europe) the manor house of a lord and the lands attached to it
2. (before 1776 in some North American colonies) a tract of land granted with rights of inheritance by royal charter
3. a manor house



the term for a feudal patrimony in medieval England. Although manors were established before the Norman conquest of England in 1066, they became widespread and uniform throughout the country only after the beginning of the Norman age. A “typical” manor consisted of two parts: the demesne, or lands retained by the lords for their own use, and the lands of the serfs (villeins) and freeholders. In addition, the manor included common lands, most of which were used by all the manor’s inhabitants, but which were considered the personal property of its lord.

The overwhelming majority of the manor’s inhabitants were villeins. The economy of the demesne depended on their labor obligations, and their quitrent in kind satisfied the needs of the lord and was sold by him on the market. The villeins were subject to the jurisdiction of the lord in the manorial court. They were also obliged to pay banalities to the lord. The manor was administered by the lord’s ministerials (the stewards). On the manor all forms of seignorial dependence were encountered: the peasants were personally, legally, and economically dependent on the lord.

By the end of the 13th century, most of the manors were small or middle-sized. As the exchange of money and goods developed, the manorial system declined. Gradually the villeins were emancipated, and the corvee was commuted to cash payments. Demesne lands were either given out to a single major lessee or were broken up into small plots that were rented to small peasant farmers. In the later Middle Ages, as economic relations took on a completely new, bourgeois character, the manor became an empty shell. Manors disappeared in the 18th century, giving way to capitalist forms of landowning. However, their disappearance did not mean the elimination of the virtual monopoly over land-ownership by a minority—the basis of the modern system of landlordism.


Vinogradov, P. G. Issledovaniia po sotsial’noi istorii Anglii v srednie veka. Moscow, 1887.
Vinogradoff, P. The Villenage in England. Oxford, 1892.
Vinogradoff, P. The Growth of the Manor, 2nd ed. London, 1911.
Petrushevskii, D. M. Vosstanie Uota Tailera, 4th ed. Moscow, 1937.
Kosminskii, E. A. Issledovaniia po agrarnoi istorii Anglii XIII v. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Barg, M. A. Issledovaniia po istorii angliiskogo feodalizma XI-XIII vv. Moscow, 1962.
Maitland, F. W. Domesday Book and Beyond. Cambridge (England), 1907.


References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Ap Iorwerth said he was "disappointed" with the Government's response and said it does not take into consideration "the anxiety" manorial rights have caused on the island.
This is a site whose story cannot be easily packaged into predictable and simplistic tropes about medieval life, divided into manorial and monastic compartments.
I suppose that there is some truth in the reporting, in so much that the manorial rights could very well impact on shale gas extraction.
He said: "I want to see a clearer way in which these manorial rights can be either extinguished or explained to individuals in the future.
People were fined for playing bowls [in Temple Balsall] in the 1620s," Neil Bettridge, manorial documents project officer for Warwickshire County Council, said.
The manorial courts, on the one hand, did not frequently address husband desertion, although marital disputes in one form or another regularly appeared in these courts.
Together they are Rosemary & Thyme, and their adventures are played out against gorgeous English gardens, manorial landscapes, and the often stunning floral beauty of rural Britain.
Mark Roberts, from Cardiff, bought the title of Lord Marcher of Trelleck and its manorial rights from the University of Wales in 2000.
Those threads (seven chapters in all) truly speak to black identity in the Hudson Valley, and add to the existing historiography such as my Long Hammering (1994) and On the Morning Tide (2003), as well as Sung Bok Kim's Landlord and Tenant in Colonial New York: Manorial Society, 1664-1775 (1978), and Thomas Wermuth's Rip Van Winkle's Neighbors: The Transformation of Rural Society in the Hudson River Vailey, 1720-1850 (2001).
Manhandling previous scholarship, Levine here treats analyses of Carolingian manorial records as describing peasant life several centuries later, and cites inquisitorial reconstructions of Montaillard testimony and Christine de Pizan as sources for northern European peasant attitudes toward sex and marriage.
Mark Roberts 39, has become Lord of the Manor of Alstonefield in Staffordshire, and intends to exploit his ancient manorial rights by charging locals for sporting rights and access to "his" land.